chapter  6
28 Pages

Efficiency and the Dilemma of Public Intellect

WithSean H. McMahon

Edward Alsworth Ross's notion of social control, and a mastery of human ideals, emerged from the abstract world of theory into real applications in American industry between 1910 and 1915. Such a direct application involved profound changes in American class consciousness. As World War I ended, Ross was fifty-four years old and showed no signs of slowing down. During the last three decades of his life he continued to teach, travel, and write for an increasingly public audience. Concerned over the line between academic and public discourse, he took a more pronounced interest in civil liberties and was again subjected to academic hearings. Ross wrote for a broad public audience as he preferred social issues over statistical analyses. Personally, Ross felt fulfilled in his role as a generalist in an age of specialization. The initial negative reaction to academic efficiency, found in the Nation and elsewhere, emerged from an abhor rence of class equalization.